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Tyler Blackburn Talks LGBTQ Representation on Roswell, New Mexico

He's happy Malex is passionate AF

Lindsay MacDonald

Roswell, New Mexico's first few episodes worked hard to pay tribute to the original series, but to say it's deviated from the story we know and love is kind of an understatement. While some changes are more controversial than others, there's one that fans don't have any trouble getting on board with: Malex.

The character of Michael Guerin (Michael Vlamis) was originally romantically paired with Maria (Heather Hemmens) in Roswell -- a coupling that was pretty beloved by fans. Roswell, New Mexico has chosen to present Michael as bisexual, pairing him with Alex Manes (Tyler Blackburn), his former high school flame turned war veteran. The two characters are electrifying together, and Blackburn and Vlamis say they've received plenty of encouraging feedback from fans about this new ship.

"All around the response has been really good, actually," Blackburn told TV Guide, mentioning that the duo already earned the ship name Malex. "That's an important thing to have actually these days. You have to have a ship name, and they gave it to us after the first episode, so I think we're doing something right."

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The intensity of the Malex dynamic has been evident since the first episode, when Michael and Alex shared a kiss far more passionate than we tend to see depicted in LGBTQ relationships on TV; though we've come a long way in terms of representation, there's sadly still a tendency on my TV series to sideline LGBTQ relationships and water them down for fear of being too gay.

Blackburn and Vlamis said they decided very early on that they needed to go all in, holding nothing back when it came to their characters' tortured romance and the tension and passion between these two men.

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"It was almost like an unspoken understanding that we were just going to go for it, and I feel like we both understood their dynamic, and there was no other way to play it besides longing and passionate," Blackburn said. "I mean, that kiss was 10 years in the making, and I think there's no other way to have that translate... I think it's really great that the writers have really chosen for this relationship to be so passionate because it's not that common to see, especially in mainstream television, to see LGBTQ characters just depicted so human and raw and real."

"I don't think anybody on the show has ever looked at it as a gay, bisexual or any kind of relationship," Vlamis added. "It's just a relationship. It's just love in its purest state."

Roswell, New Mexico premieres Tuesday at 9/8c on The CW.

(Disclosure: The CW is owned by CBS. TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)